Do you bleed orange? Does a blizzard sound like regular weather? Do you associate dinosaurs more with barbecue than fossils? If so, we’re willing to bet that you call Syracuse home. Lucky you. Syracuse is a gem of a city up north, with sports, culture, and a sunny demeanor (despite the snow) attracting locals and tourists alike.
What makes the 315 so great? Where do we start?
Sports in Syracuse center around the university, and that makes perfect sense, considering how dominant the school is. In football, men’s and women’s basketball, lacrosse, and men’s and women’s soccer, Syracuse is often an NCAA playoff contender.
Students and the city both rally for the Orange. March Madness is a metropolis-wide event, inspiring packed sports bars and celebrations in the street. When Syracuse won the NCAA tournament in 2003, led by Carmelo Anthony, Gerry McNamara, and Hakim Warrick, the city went wild, with thousands and thousands crowding Downtown Syracuse for the victory parade. Since then the Orangemen have been chasing the crown, making it to the sweet sixteen and final four several times but failing to secure the trophy. We always enter March hopeful, though.
Syracuse itself has no major professional sports teams, but there are two minor league development teams. The Syracuse Mets play AAA baseball, affiliates of the New York Mets. The Syracuse Crunch play in the AHL, developing players for the Tampa Bay Lightning. While these teams tend to be overshadowed by SU, they’re still an important part of the puzzle for the vibrant Syracuse sports culture.
That said, Syracuse has played host to numerous defunct teams of the past. The Syracuse Stars were a hockey team that played from 1930 to 1940, competing in the IHL and IAHL. The Syracuse Blazers picked up the minor league hockey stick, playing in the Eastern Hockey League from 1967–73 and the North American Hockey League from 1973–77. They were the last team to win the Walker Cup.
Two professional lacrosse teams have called Syracuse home, the Syracuse Stingers and the Syracuse Smash, of the ’70s and the ’90s–’00s, respectively. Sadly both teams relocated to Canadian cities after a short time, but if you grew up in Syracuse, you’ll probably remember a Smash or Stingers game or two. Again, lucky you.
Show off your Syracuse pride with our collection of t-shirts and tank tops.